By MICAH HENRY
In a short meeting held on Tuesday, June 15, the Town Council of Taylorsville voted unanimously to approve the 2021-2022 Town Budget. Mayor George Holleman called the meeting to order and Councilman Jack Simms gave the invocation.
The budget as approved is $4,851,814 which is $603,541 increase (14.2 percent) over the current year’s budget as approved in June 2020. It will keep the same property tax rate of 40 cents per $100 valuation.
The General Fund budget is $2,361,364 which is a 21.4 percent increase over the previous year, in part due to American Rescue Plan funds, improved local sales tax revenues, and ABC revenues, COVID-19, and economic fallout from multiple executive orders, designed to protect citizens, while creating revenue dips absorbed completely at the local level.
A 5 percent Cost Of Living Adjustment is inluded in the General Fund budget for all employees, full and part-time, to reward dedicated Town employees who have persevered through the pandemic, leaders stated.
General Fund expenses are: Police, $1,195,450; Streets and sanitation, $598,180; Administration, $283,075; contributions to outside agencies and operations and contingency, $101,500; misc. governmental, $58,850; Town Council, $62,059; Parks & Recreation, $24,950; Buildings, $24,400; cemetery, $7,900; and Urgent Care building, $5,000.
This is based on a valuation of $193,663,620 at a 96 percent tax collection rate.
The remainder of the Town Budget is for Water & Sewer operations at $2,490,450.
Two upcoming projects are a new forcemain sewer project on Hwy. 90 East and additional Treatment Plant upgrades, pending Local Government Commission approval.
The water/sewer fund has opearated in the red the last three years due to many adverse weather events and COVID-19. Town Manager David Odom noted at the June 1 meeting that excessive adverse weather had caused the system to incur significant expenses and repairs and these would necessitate a water and sewer rate increase.
Odom said residential water and sewer customers will see a roughly five or six dollar per month increase in their bills. Park shelter fees will increase from $15 for four hours to $20 for four hours. All other fees will stay the same.
There are no new employees in the budget; in fact, the Town has two less employees to start this fiscal year than last year.
In other business, the Council approved current budget year amendments, including $7,500 to Central Alexander Fire Department for COVID assistance and $5,000 to 957 Mobile Café assistance from the General Fund balance; $28,650 for repairs to the Park house, mulch, bathroom lights and plumbing ($1,000 from the cemetery fund and the remainder from fund balance); $32,650 in budget transfers for insurance and communications costs; and $64,325 from the Water & Sewer Fund Balance for merchant service fees ($5,700), W. Piedmont Council of Governments (mapping, $4,625); electricity ($7,500); pumps, valves, and fittings ($36,000); and department supplies ($10,500).
The next Town Council meeting is planned Tuesday, August 3, at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall (there will be no July meeting).